Non-Anime art styles

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PiyoPiyo
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Non-Anime art styles

#1 Post by PiyoPiyo » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:25 pm

I'm about 2/3rds done writing my first VN and it's time to find an artist. I was wondering how everyone feels about non-anime style artwork? I'm writing a commercial game which will be released on mobile devices first, and was initially thinking about going after some voltage users, but I also know some really great illustrators who don't necessarily do anime...

Would it be more pertinent to release the first title with sexy bishys, then try other styles with the next story maybe? Once I have an audience.

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Re: Non-Anime art styles

#2 Post by Enigma » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:28 pm

I myself actually don't mind the art style as long as the game is good. I'm actually really forgiving when it comes to art in general myself though. I mean it takes a lot for me to decide I don't want to watch or play something.

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Re: Non-Anime art styles

#3 Post by Anne » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:52 pm

There was a poll recently on English Otome Games asking the same question http://www.englishotomegames.net/polls (~70% / 1295 votes for anime style, 2% / 33 votes for non-anime)

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Re: Non-Anime art styles

#4 Post by MaiMai » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:54 pm

There have been several games from people who go to this forum that didn't use anime styled art and they were well done, such as Coming Out on Top, Asher, and Cinders.

Honestly, it's a stylistic choice that you can make on your own and not necessarily on your audience unless you are specifically trying to reach a certain demographic. If you're going after Voltage users, maybe you could just stick to an anime style, but make sure it's distinguishable. (I'll be honest and say none of the guys for Voltage games usually stick out to me whatsoever)
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Re: Non-Anime art styles

#5 Post by PiyoPiyo » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:23 am

Anne wrote:There was a poll recently on English Otome Games asking the same question http://www.englishotomegames.net/polls (~70% / 1295 votes for anime style, 2% / 33 votes for non-anime)
That's super helpful. Thank you.

And yeah. Voltage is pretty sub-par all around. That was one of the reasons I wanted to make a good English, Otome mobile game. Tired of teaching dudes how to cook for themselves.
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Re: Non-Anime art styles

#6 Post by ketskari » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:38 am

Everlove: Rose is an app game that uses a realistic style, and I believe it's draws inspiration from Western romances and even otomes(?) I saw an article about the developers a while back--maybe they talk about their experiences.

Also, "non-anime" can cover a lot of ground. Are we talking a Western cartoon style? Or painted? Or something else?

The website that poll is on just blogged about Asher! I was wondering where all the recent downloads were coming from. (Note that 28% don't care).

Anime is clearly a large part of what the existing otome audience wants and is used to, but there's also an audience outside of VNs (apps, for instance), so I think it's probably fine either way, so long as the art is good and suited to the story (pretty and romance go together, and anime tends to be pretty) and the game is marketed broadly.

(Also, Asher is not really an otome).
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Re: Non-Anime art styles

#7 Post by PiyoPiyo » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:50 am

I was originally leaning towards something a bit contemporary and color blocky, but still pretty and a bit sexy.

Along these lines:
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Re: Non-Anime art styles

#8 Post by trooper6 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:27 am

Also note that poll might be a bit skewed. For example, I had never heard of that website until just this moment. Which means I didn't vote in that poll.

Voltage games are popular, but Cause of Death, which ran for years, was also popular and that game didn't use an anime style.

There is an audience that only wants anime style art. There is also an audience that would like anything but anime style art.

Do what you are most excited by.
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Re: Non-Anime art styles

#9 Post by Ernestalice15 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:51 am

trooper6 wrote:Also note that poll might be a bit skewed. For example, I had never heard of that website until just this moment. Which means I didn't vote in that poll.

Voltage games are popular, but Cause of Death, which ran for years, was also popular and that game didn't use an anime style.

There is an audience that only wants anime style art. There is also an audience that would like anything but anime style art.

Do what you are most excited by.
Even though I think that the poll is quite helpful, perhaps yes, sometimes you just need to create a poll yourself for better accuracy. Speaking of audience, sometimes I think it's a pity that Western like any style and much forgiving if the story is good, but Asian, especially Japanese like anime style only. It's a bit stereotype, but I've found a chatting site quite popular in Japan, and they're discussing about how they don't want to play the game because the characters are not cute enough. Well, that's BxG, though. But believe me, many girls like and buy Otome games because of the hot guys in the game. At least, people near me are like that. :D
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Re: Non-Anime art styles

#10 Post by n0tgin » Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:10 am

Truth be told, all art styles have their charm points and will be appealing when woven correctly into the VN's atmosphere and setting. However, as seen on the english otome game site, a lot of people (even if the voters aren't everyone who has ever read/played english VNs) prefer the anime art style, so that's probably a 'safe' option, in my opinion.

But, as I said, all art styles can be used to their best abilities in a VN if they compliment the setting, atmosphere and themes of the VN. If you believe you can make it work and are actively fond of the idea, go ahead, because there are always going to be people who like one thing and not another. At least you know for sure there won't be absolutely no one who likes the art if you pick one over the other, because there are audiences for all styles and there are also audiences who don't care about the art style.

(Personally, I'm fond of the idea of using an art style like the one in the pieces you linked.)

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Re: Non-Anime art styles

#11 Post by Haze » Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:08 am

It's really up to you, and what you want for your game. Personally, I think more non-anime art styles could really help advance the VN genre, and would love to see more VNs in a non-anime style. But it's not about what I, or anyone else, think; it's about what's best for your game, and how you personally want it to look.
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Re: Non-Anime art styles

#12 Post by CSV » Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:56 am

My general opinion is that if that if you have good-quality art, there will always be someone who likes it no matter what the style. Also, there are probably many VN players who focus more of the story or gameplay than on having appealing visuals.

That said, and just so I don't sound like a hypocrite, I might be the exception. I am very selective with VNs based mostly on the art style, and I prefer anime/manga style. I can only think of one or two exceptions of VNs I thought looked interesting and had non-anime art. (Though I honestly I never gave any attention to Voltage games as I think that particular anime style is too bland.)

I'd say you should go with whatever style you prefer. Or, if possible, try to decide on a target audience and then reach out to potencial members of that audience and find out what they like best.
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Re: Non-Anime art styles

#13 Post by Harliqueen » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:48 am

I think the quality of the art is more important and, as n0tgin says, all styles have their charms.

Personally I enjoy when the art style is something other than anime/manga style, as that is pretty much everywhere. Don't get me wrong! I do enjoy the anime style, but when I come across a VN that has a different look to it, it seems to grab my interest more quickly.

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Re: Non-Anime art styles

#14 Post by gekiganwing » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:57 am

Going along with what other people said, use whatever art style you want.

Having stated that, here are some less important things to think about. Do you want your art to resemble a specific artist, or a specific work? If that's your intention, first consider what you like about it. For instance, if you read Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, then you might remember things such as how Araki's art has evolved over the years, how his characters pose like models, and how his fashions capture specific moments in time. Also, if you have read some of Mitsuru Adachi's recent series such as Cross Game, then you remember how he can convey emotions with small expressions and gestures.
CSV wrote:My general opinion is that if that if you have good-quality art, there will always be someone who likes it no matter what the style.
Unfortunately, it's impossible to please everyone. No matter what art style you use, someone will dislike and/or criticize it.
CSV wrote:...if possible, try to decide on a target audience and then reach out to potential members of that audience and find out what they like best.
If you need to sell the final product as an indie game, then you first need to make sure there's an audience of people who are able and willing to buy it. But that's another topic.

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Re: Non-Anime art styles

#15 Post by Chocopyro » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:39 am

Me? Personally? I love anime art. That's almost exclusively what I prefer actually. And perhaps sounding like a broken record player by this point, but there is an audience for non-anime art, so do what you feel suits the game more. Who knows, if it's something new, and it catches the right eyes, you might find yourself being the creator of a brand new artistic genre. Bold, confident, and new can be hit or miss, but it's better to cast the bait and real in nothing rather than not do it at all. How else will you know if it's any good?

Now could someone please explain to me what Voltage is? I'm not to savvy with the otome vocabulary.
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